Sunday, December 11, 2016

Type 58 isn't all that bad


The_Ghghp here with another tank review for you guys.

Full Stats

I've already played the T-34-85 the Type 58. So, I'd have a pretty painful grind to the IS-2 right? Actually, I surprised myself. Although they look so similar, the Type 58 doesn't feel like a direct downgrade from the T-34-85; it feels like an entirely different tank. It seems that it has its own unique playstyle that needs adjusting to in order to reach its highest potential. Also, playing the tank is a good way to tell if the Chinese medium tank line is right for your playstyle or not.

Type 58 vs T-34-85 stats

So what's so special about this "clone"?

Firepower: Okay/Good

The most noticeable drawback about the Type 58's gun is its lack of penetration: only 128mm on its AP round, forcing the use of APCR in unfavorable mm. Combined with slightly worse accuracy, shell velocity, and damage than the T-34-85's longer gun, the gun can be a letdown at long-range, frontal engagements.

However, it's not all bad news. While the Type 58's DPM is only ~7% greater, it's increased rate of fire from 10 to 12 can turn out to be very useful. For example, the T-34-85 has the alpha damage to take off an enemy's tracks with a single shot, but it doesn't have enough rate of fire to permatrack well-trained crews. The Type 58's gun deals the same module damage but has a faster rate of fire, so it gains the ability to lock down any enemy tank at equal crew levels. The increased ROF can give the Type 58 the chance to put in 2 opportunity shots into an enemy in the situation where the T-34-85 might only manage 1. All this combined with better turret traverse dispersion than the T-34-85 gives it some serious close-range capability, with a combination of good alpha and DPM that can rack up damage as long as it can pen.

As a final note, the gun's HE rounds put out a ridiculous 280 damage if they can penetrate - almost double the alpha of AP rounds. This gives it significantly higher HE round DPM than any other tier 6 medium tank. Since the Type 58 can hold 12 rounds more than the T-34-85 (60 total), it's definitely worth it to take several HE rounds for those certain situations where 43mm of penetration is enough.

Mobility and Scoutability: Good

The Type 58 has similar speed to the T-34-85 in a straight line, meaning its acceleration to top speed can feel slightly sluggish, making it hard to get beyond 45 km/h outside of ideal terrain. However, the Type 58's greatly improved traverse speed gives it more capability in close-quarters. While the tank can't race around at top speed like the Cromwell, it can perform tighter turns than its Soviet counterpart and maintain more speed, allowing it to out-maneuver its opposition to make use of its punchy gun.

The tank also boasts 370m of view range, 10m higher than the Cromwell's and T-34-85's. This greatly enhances the tank's vision capabilities, allowing it to remain useful as a scout against higher-tier tanks. It's top speed is competitive at 56km, so it is fast enough to travel long distances required to secure scouting positions. All in all, the tank isn't fast enough to be a pseudo-light tank like the Cromwell or A-43, but it can make good use of cover to scout passively.

Protection: Mediocre/Okay

Though the Type 58 has more HP than the T-34-85 (750 vs 720), it pays for it in two important ways. First of all, with only 5 of gun depression, the Type 58 cannot make use of its decently armored turret as often as the T-34-85, which can depress 7 degrees. Also, the Type 58's turret has two large side-by-side cupolas on the top, while the T-34-85 has only one small cupola. The hull armor, while sloped, is too thin to bounce anything outside of auto-ricochets. The KV-2 is capable of one-shotting the Type 58 through its hull, so drive with care.

With that being said, the Type 58's armor isn't completely useless. The turret can still bounce poorly-aimed shots or at long distances, thanks to the large gun mantlet and rounded shape. Also, while brawling, sidescraping is actually a viable tactic. The Type's side armor is sufficiently thick and sloped to withstand most enemy arnament, and the turret's round shape can frequently cause ricochets. This combined with its above-average alpha makes the tank very competitive for poke-and-shoot tactics.


Knowing all these differences from the T-34-85, how exactly do you play the Type 58?

In a tier 6 matchup, stay back for the first minute or so, and let heavy tanks from opposing sides get stuck in with each other. Then, you can start engaging them from their flanks and punish them, tracking and harassing them as necessary. Don't be afraid to hang around for a while in direct engagements, since your armor and firepower are both competitive enough to do so. That being said, never allow yourself to become the center of attention or you will be destroyed quickly. Always retreat and lay low for a while whenever it seems necessary. You'll always be strong at mid-distance, where you can sidescrape or go hull-down to lock down a flank.

In a tier 7 matchup, the same strategies apply, but you have to play more conservatively, staying at longer ranges more often. Don't rely on your armor against tier 7 tanks. Try to thin out weaker enemies first, especially if you can make use of HE. Then, at the end of the game, you can go and clean up weakened enemy tanks, and don't be afraid to use plenty of APCR against heavy tanks like the IS to guarantee penetration and to gain the ability to permatrack them to their death.

In a tier 8 matchup, stay away from higher tiered opponents! It's not worth the risk to try and tangle with them. Instead, try to take up a passive scouting position and provide vision for your team. Try to think about what enemy light tanks are doing - if you can engage and take them out with your high damage HE rounds, the enemy team's vision could be severely crippled, allowing your team to advance. Sneak around and find places where you can add in firepower for your team or fish out isolated TDs. Stay in the sidelines, pick your fights, and get in shots only if it's safe - any overextending could lead to a quick death. Use plenty of APCR when necessary.


Below is my personal equipment setup for the Type 58:

Improved Ventilation
Gun Rammer

The gun rammer and vents are self-explanatory for a tier 6 medium tank. I prefer binoculars over coated optics, boosting the tank's already good view range into the spotting maximum of 445m, giving you a specific edge in vision for those tier 8 games. Coated optics are inferior, in my opinion, since the tank isn't suitable for active scouting, and coated optics doesn't give enough of a boost to make the tank competitive in long-range passive scouting.

I suggest BiA for the first crew skill, followed by sixth sense for the commander, snap shot for the gunner, smooth ride for the driver, repairs for the loader, and situational awareness for the radioman. After that, train repairs and then go with whatever you want.

Overall, while the Type 58 definitely wasn't my favorite tier 6 medium tank and certainly took some time to get used to, I was still able to get some very nice results with it once I gave up trying to play it exactly like the T-34-85. The tanks have different playstyles. Although the Type 58 doesn't look very good on paper, the grind ends up being largely painless once you figure out what you should and shouldn't do in certain matchups.

Thanks for reading and good luck on the battlefield.

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